California AB469 - Financial Aid Applications
Bill Summary: This bill requires a local educational agency (LEA) to ensure students in 12th grade complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA), unless the student or the student’s parent or guardian opts out.
Educational Funding: California’s Progressive Step
In a landmark policy shift, Assembly Bill 469 mandates that California high school seniors must apply for financial aid. This holds particular significance for Borrego Springs, as it directly influences the financial aid application process at the local high school level.
Borrego Springs High School: A Success Story
With a new mandate in effect, Borrego Springs High School saw an 85% completion rate of financial aid applications among seniors—a 20% increase from the previous year, signifying the community’s dedication to educational advancement1.
The State’s Vision: Enhanced Financial Aid Access
AB 469 confronts the issue of unclaimed federal and state college funds, which approximate $550 million annually1. By ensuring more students apply for financial aid, California leads in increasing access to higher education funds.
Incorporating AB 469 into Borrego Springs’ Educational Landscape
The implementation of AB 469 signals a significant update to educational policy for Borrego Springs High School, which now requires 12th graders to submit a FAFSA or CDAA application, albeit with an opt-out possibility. Local Educational Agencies play a crucial role in ensuring compliance, offering support, and facilitating data sharing to make the application process more efficient. There are no graduation penalties for students who don’t complete the application, underscoring the focus on inclusivity and access to financial aid for higher education.
2023 Note: The availability of financial aid applications will commence in December this year, prompting Borrego Springs Andrea Urquidez, community schools coordinator for the Borrego Springs Unified School District and her team to inform families via email and phone about the reduced application window.
Borrego Springs High School has navigated the requirements of the financial aid application mandate with notable success, reflecting the school’s adaptability and resourcefulness in supporting its students’ educational journeys.
Quick Facts About California’s FAFSA and CDAA Completion Requirement:
- The trailer bill to the 2021-22 Budget mandated high school seniors complete the FAFSA or CDAA, with an opt-out provision.
- AB 132, an urgency measure of 2021, incorporated these stipulations.
- Previous completion rates for FAFSA and CDAA were around 54%.
- The CSAC’s “Race to Submit” campaign aims to boost these rates, providing weekly updates.
- Riverside County’s initiative saw an increase from 52% to 70% in FAFSA and CDAA completion.
- COVID-19 led to a 10% decline in FAFSA applications from California seniors and possibly larger drops in CDAA applications.
- California ranked 30th in FAFSA completion in 2018, with significant decreases post-COVID-19, especially among low-income students.
- AB 469 requires LEAs to ensure seniors complete FAFSA/CDAA to improve access to programs like the Community College Promise.
- A significant amount of state and federal financial aid is unclaimed annually in California, with recent declines in application rates.
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